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No victories for NZ Warriors feeder teams

Kalani Going NZ Warriors
The NZ Warriors lost their second straight match in the NSW Cup in Canberra. PHOTO: NSW CUP

While the NZ Warriors' big-league team enjoyed their first victory on Friday night, the club's four lower-grade teams went winless last weekend.

The Warriors' SG Ball (under-19) side blew a 20-point halftime lead before almost stealing the win in a 30-30 draw with Cronulla Sutherland on Sunday, while there were losses for the club's NSW Cup (reserves), Jersey Flegg (under-21) and Harold Matthews Cup (under-17) teams.

There was no joy for the Warriors’ NSW Cup and Jersey Flegg Cup teams on a testing road trip to Canberra for their Round 3 contests in Queanbeyan on Saturday.

Playing at Seiffert Oval, the Raiders’ home ground in their formative years, the competition-leading Canberra NSW Cup side stormed to a 40-4 win while the home side’s unbeaten Jersey Flegg team toppled the Warriors 44-12.

In the SG Ball clash at Pukekohe's Navigation Homes Stadium, the home side conceded the first try of the match in the opening minute but then rattled off five straight tries, including a double from standoff Tallan Egan, in an outstanding first-half effort to lead 26-6.

Cronulla found a way back into the battle from a seemingly futile position by scoring five unanswered tries to lead 30-26, only for the Warriors to level up with a late Augustino Filipo try. It came down to the conversion from wide out on the left but Tallan Egan was just wide.

The result eliminated the Warriors from contention for the top-six playoffs ahead of their final round match against the St George Illawarra Dragons in Pukekohe on Sunday (kick-off 11.45am).

The club's hopes of playing finals football in their debut season in the Harold Matthews Cup also suffered a major blow in the earlier Round 8 clash in Pukekohe on Sunday, going down 40-10 to Cronulla Sutherland.

Going into the match, the Warriors were inside the top-six, level on 10 points with the Sharks and needing to win their last two matches to seal a spot in the playoffs.

However, Cronulla Sutherland were in no mood for charity, scoring three converted tries in quick order to leap to an 18-0 lead before the Warriors responded with a Jeremiah Lemana try to cut the margin to 14.

It did not last long, with the Sharks striking again to extend to 24-4 at halftime, 30-4 straight after the break and then 34-4 a short time later. The only respite for the home side was provided by an Isaiah Savea try.

The result lifted the Sharks to 12 points, fifth on the ladder, while the Warriors slipped to seventh, with the Sea Eagles moving up to 10 points and claiming sixth place on points for and against.

The Warriors must beat lowly-ranked St George Illawarra in their final match at Pukekohe on Sunday (kick-off 10am) and do so by a big margin, while the Sea Eagles would need to lose to the mid-table Central Coast Roosters or win by a modest margin.

In NSW Cup action, the Raiders scored in the opening minutes against the Warriors, conceded their only try of the day to wing Edward Kosi in the 15th minute and then added three tries to lead 22-4 at halftime.

The Warriors resisted for the first 25 minutes of the second half but could not add to their solitary try before the Raiders opened up again with tries in the 65th, 70th and 76th minutes to clock up a third straight convincing win.

The Warriors had little possession, just 29 sets of which they completed only 17 for a 58 percent completion rate. The Raiders had 42 sets, dominating possession 58 percent to 42 percent.

Fullback Setu Tu made the most metres for the Warriors, with 174, while Kosi made 149 and Moala Graham-Taufa 115. Kalani Going (129) and Tanner Stowers-Smith (100) were the only Warriors forwards to reach three figures.

Going was the busiest defender, with 36 tackles, while Eddie Ieremia made 35 and Paul Roache and Maia Sands 29 each.

The Warriors will relish being back at Go Media Stadium Mt Smart next weekend when they take on the Newcastle Knights in the second leg of an Easter Sunday triple-header (kick-off 3.20pm) with the Jersey Flegg match between to two clubs starting at 1.30pm and the NRL contest at 6.05pm.

The Warriors’ Flegg side will be equally pleased to be at home after consecutive away games against Melbourne and Canberra.

After going down 36-10 to the Storm, they had a difficult day taking on the Raiders.

Canberra scored five tries in the first half to jump to a commanding 28-0 lead and extended to 38-0 in the second spell before prop Tobias Crosby scored for the Warriors.

Minutes later, the Raiders were in again before the Warriors scored the last try of the match through loose forward Ieti Samuelu, rounding out a half in which the score was just 16-10 in Canberra's favour.


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